Motion City is better than ‘alright’

Photo by Tim Lee / Photo Editor
Photo by Tim Lee / Photo Editor

Accompanied by a backdrop of pink clouds, a dinosaur drum and the unbounded enthusiasm of scattered but numerous jumping crowd members, Motion City Soundtrack invaded Kendall Hall with its explosive pop-rock sound.

As the selected band for the College Union Board (CUB) hosted concert, Motion City delivered a night of favorites, as well as a preview of its upcoming release “My Dinosaur Life.”

The Minneapolis-based band consists of lead vocalist Justin Pierre, bassist Matt Taylor, guitarist Josh Cain, drummer Tony Thaxton and Jesse Johnson on synthesizer.  The band’s catchy punk-rock infused tunes and hyperactive movement with their prospective instruments amplified the band’s contagious energy.

Pierre’s fractured robot style dancing, as well as his sporadic commentary between and during songs, added a humorous quality to the performance, capturing the audience with his cartoonish charm.

“I haven’t showered in days,” Pierre said between songs.

From its Columbia record debut, “My Dinosaur Life,” which will be released Jan. 19 of next year, the band played “Disappear” as well as “Lifeless Ordinary,” alongside favorites such as “Everything is Alright.” The band boasted numerous numbers from its latest album, “Even if it Kills Me,” such as “L.G. FUAD” (Let’s Get Fucked Up and Die), “This is for Real,” as well as the “Future Freaks Me Out” from “I Am the Movie.”

“We try to define ourselves from others, but fail miserably. However, hopefully in the wake of failing miserably we create something totally fresh and awesome,” Pierre said in an interview.

According to Pierre, the unconventional name of its latest endeavor is a “misheard and misremembered name,” inspired from a line from the documentary “American Teen” referring to a character’s “dragon life.” Pierre said that this project is different from the band’s previous work, incorporating more “raw, nasty, aggression” where the older songs “lacked emotional oomph.”

Opening the night was Georgia natives, Cartel. The band consists of vocalist and guitarist Will Pugh, bassist Jeff Lett, guitarist Nic Hudson, drummer Kevin Sanders and guitarist Joseph Pepper. Establishing the energy for the night, the band played a primarily pop-rock set with harsher and more pronounced punk undertones. Highlights throughout the night from its latest album “Cycles” included  “Let’s Go” and “27 Steps.”

Though the band’s intensity caused the occasional impulse of a few enthused audience members to rush the stage — a trend that continued throughout Motion City Soundtrack’s performance — Cartel rarely addressed the audience between songs, causing difficulty to discern one song from another. Judging by its response, however, the audience didn’t seem to mind.

“It was dirt nasty fly’’ said senior interdisciplinary business major and a community advisor Meraj Qazi, “It made my blood flow into places I didn’t even know I had.”